26 comments on “(UPDATE 12/28/2012 )Prenda Law (a.k.a Steele|Hansmeier, PLLC) Sends Out Letters From Florida Wanting To Inspect Peoples Machines For Copyrighted Material

  1. Do you have a copy of a letter from Prenda? This is possibly illegal activity if this is true. “Negotiating a settlement” (pronounced harassment and threats) is one thing. Demanding to inspect a private citizen’s hardware without a court order is something else entirely.

    • I figured they were just going to keep pushing and pushing until someone ends up in jail. You would think some people would be satisfied with sending people letters demanding money and actually getting money back, but these guys don’t know when to stop. If this is true and you guys can post copies of the letters we should make the Florida Attorney General’s office mailbox, faxes and inboxes explode with complaints:


      • I am surprised by the fracture between the Tea Party and the OWS movement. I am a supporter of Ron Pal but the left finds him to be ‘extreme’. The fact is, there are many commonalities between the two sides that could/should be harnessed. The Kucinich-Paul coalition, if you will. Ultimately, only if independents takle back this country will the middle class have a shot. End the Fed !!

        • I am surprised by the fracture between the Tea Party and the OWS movement. I am a supporter of Ron Pal but the left finds him to be ‘extreme’. The fact is, there are many commonalities between the two sides that could/should be harnessed. The Kucinich-Paul coalition, if you will. Ultimately, only if independents takle back this country will the middle class have a shot. End the Fed !!

    • I think these are “voluntarily” requests. I think they tried to get the court to grant subpoena like they do to the ISP but to the individuals and the court laughed at them. So they are “allowing” the opportunity to clear your name by complying.

    • I recieved two letters from Prenda Law Inc. The first one was requesting permission to access my Cox Cable information. I agreed only because I had nothing to hide, Then on or about January 2, I recieved the second letter from Prenda Law Inc. directing me to send them money in the amount of $3,400.00 dollars providing me the opportunity to to avoid litigation by working out a settlement with them, verses the costs of attorney fees and the uncertainty associated with jury verdicts and that this offer is very reasonable and in good faith. This will also enable me from becoming a defendant in their lawsuit, They claim that their office is authorized to accept the sum of $3,400 dollars as full settlement for the claims. This offer is due to expire on January 12, 2012. I am instructed not to delete any files from my computer. If this goes to trial they will have a forensic computer analagist take my conputer for to make sure that i had not deleted any informationl. If they find that I had deleted “anything” the court could iimpose an added complaint called ” Spoilazation of eveidence” and the court could impose monetary sanctions plus attorney fees.
      I have sensitive client files on my computer that could compromise my client confidentiality code if this were to be done.
      Yes I do have the letters from Prenda Law LLC and would be happy to send you a copy. Just give me your fax number and I will send them. I can be reached at the following e-mail address.
      Thank you for your concern in this matter.


      • Unless they get a subpoena telling you to hand over your computer, you can and should ignore any discovery request from them. If they get a subpoena, get a lawyer, he will at the very least get it modified to protect sensitive information.

        Odds are very good however a Judge won’t actually give them a subpoena to look at your computer. So by the time they actually get to that level of discovery you will be very much a part of the case as in been served had to file an answer, etc.

      • Ann, this is a classic ‘phishing’ letter. Too bad you gave them permission to access Cox. Well, in my case Cox gave them my details without even letting me know (Supposedly Cox was ordered to help DGW law firm). Anyway. I don’t know the particulars of your case, but mine was about downloading a NSFW movie. The letter to me had the same language as in yours. We move files on OUR computers all the time, we can delete them, transfer them to other media devices. They can’t do squat about it. I used spybot and scrubbed that file folder away. I doubt any judge will sanction confiscation of PCs for copyright or alleged piracy charges. The law hasn’t caught up with modern technology. I scoured the web for days looking for info on the law firm, similar cases, how much deep doo doo i was in. Homework is important. Now you have to be your own judge on who/what to believe, there are lawyers and websites out there who con you into believing that they’re on your side and in the end you DO end up paying for a lot. I bargained with the law firm and got a ‘discount’ and paid up. 3 months later, I discover the case has been dropped. The whole thing was an extortion scheme from the get go. Your first mistake was to respond to these lowlifes. its like radar, they don’t know you exist, until you flinch and then they’ve homed in on you. DGW LLC targeted upto 3300 people, guess what, only 52 J. Does were ‘dismissed’ – meaning they paid up. Less than 2% of the target population… the others weren’t even touched (they received a letter, sure but nothing else). They probably raked in upto $182,000 after this 10 month long wait period. Before Christmas, last year they just dropped the case. It was a flawed case after all and not many were taking the bait. I wish I’d waited too. But somewhere in here is a lesson. Wait it out. Do not respond.. to anyone. This was written on the blog entry for the DGW LLC (Ellis Bennet) scam. I should have listened. Good luck. Make sure you don’t leave any personal info in the letter that you want to scan and send out to folks here. I think there are a couple of copyright trolls disguised as victims in here. Keep updating on your situation.

    • Collectively the best things that the Does could do is make it as expensive as possible for them to pursue. At the individual level it depends on your circumstances.

      If you are guilty and have a decent amount of money, then you might want to give serious consideration to paying them to go away. Get a lawyer first though, he can get you a better deal or at the very least make sure that when its done its actually done.

      For the guilty with not a lot of money. It would really depend on too many factors. But you are probably better playing dead to start and hoping their business model breaks before they get to you.

      If you are innocent you can and should start by playing dead and ignoring them. They aren’t interested in going to trial so you can essentially play chicken with them at no cost to yourself other than your time. When things start getting serious subpoena/summons you need to get a lawyer though. That will cost them money, but innocent people defending themselves is their achilles heel, for every $1 somebody spends defending themselves they have to spend $3-10 pursuing them, and in the end not only do they get nothing for it, but it discourages other people from settling with them. That kills their business model.

    • Wait, I don’t think Zippy quite gets it. We are here, all of us, only because we were specifically targeted. Its okay, we all downloaded something and we got traced. Thats a small part of the problem. The problem is that legit copyright companies don’t come knocking on your door for money, they ask you to cease and desist all distribution activities and remove the said material from your devices. These people here are in for the money, no matter what. Rule 1: Do not respond.
      They don’t even know you really exist, this is a bait of sorts, you bite and then they got your number.
      Rule 2: Ignore, play dead. You could have moved out, you could be a fictitious person. All they got on you is hash info, date/time of download, IP address? In my own case, 98% of the people DGW LLC targetted stayed put, about 1.6% people paid up, guess what, the case was dropped about 2 weeks ago. I paid up and I kick myself for not waiting it out. These lowlifes are not in to prosecute you, they are here to make a quick buck from intimidating you. Remember that. Pay up or not, your call. You CAN bargain with them, and that should be a sign for you. They’ll take anything you can give them, just like muggers. Try talking with more people and get a feel of this situation. The ‘limited time offer’ is a good example of that old joke where people used to post ads in newspapers, ‘Last day to get your dollar in’. Don’t fall for the scam. Good luck.

  2. The “settlement offer” by Paul Duffy was not filed with the court or served as required by federal rule. The order giving John Steele (not Duffy) subpoena power to serve the ISPs in the case he (Duffy) threatened me with also includes a deadline of 11/11/11 to submit a progress report to the court identifying the does, as of 1/9/12 no one has complied. The subpoena to the ISPs was a fishing trip to get names of victims to extort money from. In Arizona it is a class 4 felony to threaten to file a lawsuite in the future if you don’t pay. It’s called theft by extortion and is a federal crime if you use the USPS to deliver the threat. I turned the matter over to the FBI. If Duffy doesn’t file in the District of Arizona against me personally he may very well go to prison. If he does file, I’m countering for fraud, it’s simple really: his letter states that the copyright is at the begining of the video, this indicates two things: 1. Copyright infringement could only accure if the video was viewed, paully dog has a long row to hoe to prove that. 2. He downloaded the video himself or is the original uploader, either way if I did in fact download the video as he alleges if the suite makes it to discovery he’s going to have to prove not only that I downloaded the file, viewed it, but that I didn’t download it from him! There is also privacy issues as Paul Duffy, Prenda Law Inc. as of 1/9/12 is NOT attourney of record or recognized by the court as counsel. So all I can say to these Cicago way Worms is: BRING IT!

  3. Hello,
    I am here because I did contact them after getting a letter. They told me my fee to avoid litigation was 4000. After “conferring” with their client for 5 minutes they agreed upon a monthly amount I offered to pay them. What can I do to make this go away!

    • ” After “conferring” with their client for 5 minutes they agreed upon a monthly amount I offered to pay them.”

      Are they willing to accept $4 a month for 1000 months? Considering that they will be out of business in 6-8 months the whole thing will cost you $24-$32. 😉

  4. Thanks a lot for all the support you guys have given here….received a call today and they made a settlement offer…i didn’t say anything… Please advise what to do if they call again… !!

    Thanks again..!!!

  5. I got a letter from prenda the other day and not knowing anything about these shitbag trolls called to ask about the settling since the internet was in my wifes moms name they got her name from the cable company wondering if once they have your name should I wait it out or get a lawyer.

    • Wait it out… Prenda is under full assault right now from EFF and a Doe who has counter sued their big client Hard Drive productions. This whole scam could be in the final stages. The next few months will be very telling. The best thing to do is either hire a lawyer if you have money to burn and assets to protect. If you aren’t in that 2% of the population then ignore everything and never talk to Mark Lutz. It is proven that pleading your innocence is useless with these clowns and may even get you targeted.

      • well ignore everything except an official notice from the court will you will never get.. Just figured I should clarify there.

  6. Well I heard from Prenda Law again. After careful consideration I decided to settle with this letter(in the letter they cited a lawsuit filed in The District of Columbia as being filed in the District of Illinois):

    E. St.
    , AZ

    February 2, 2012

    Joseph Perea
    Prenda Law, inc.
    161 Clark St. Suite 3200
    Chicago, IL 60601


    Dear Joseph Perea,

    I am in receipt of your letter dated January 30, 2012. I have decided to comply with your request,
    however I feel it necessary to point out irregularities in your letter:

    • The lawsuit you described does NOT exist in the Northen District of Illinois.
    • Your “settlement offer” does NOT CONFORM to Federal Rules 2 and 3.
    • Your “settlement offer” DOES fall under Arizona Law: ARS 13 §1804:
    “A. A person commits theft by extortion by knowingly obtaining or seeking to obtain
    property or services by means of a threat to do in the future any of the following:
    5. Accuse anyone of a crime . . .
    C. Theft by extortion as defined in subsection A, paragraph 1 is a class 2 felony.
    Otherwise, theft by extortion is a class 4 felony.”
    • You sir are a FELON and a CRAVEN.

    That having been said, here is your instructions for payment: I have placed thirty-four crisp one
    hundred dollar bills on my cocktail table in my living room, you can have it, however I will not be
    intimidated by your insolence, so if you want it come and get it the way any other reprobate, street thug would. You have to rob me honestly(sic). Be advised Mr. Perea when you break into my house you do so in the Great State of Arizona, and you do so at your own peril Mr. Chicago way!

    If you have any questions please direct them to:
    XXX Police Department Officer M. Badge No.
    RE: Complaint No.
    110 N.
    , AZ

    Officer is working with me locally to resolve this matter. Be advised Mr. Perea that I
    also have a complaint filed against Prenda Law, inc. with the FBI Cyber Crime Unit that your name
    will be added to.

    I look forward to your filing a complaint against me personally. The proper venue is The United
    States District Court for the State of Arizona. You will face me Pro Se. I do not require legal
    counsel to utterly destroy you in a court of law you stupid mother fucker.

    • Actually, if there is no case, what exactly are they accusing John/Jane Does of downloading? I’ve only seen a generic subpoena that was sent from Cox that did not name what was downloaded. This was back in September/October.

  7. My family received a letter on Monday the 6th stating a settlement of 3,400 dollars. I’ve told my parents to ignore them, any way to show them this is a scam? I don’t want to pay or have to get in trouble with the law. From all I’ve read this seems fake as ever. Prenda sucks.

  8. Today I received a letter from Prenda Law Feb.13, 2012. They have said I downloaded a movie that is a Porn Movie. This movie has to do with Shemale pornstars. I am an older woman and a christian i dont watch this stuff. Never have I done the down load thing I am not that good with computers. I have had this stuff pop up on my computer and I had to find a way to block it out of my e mails. I am not going to respond. I know the court system says you have to prove your case against someone. I think this company figures everyone down loads stuff so send a bunch of stuff out and see who feels guilty enought to give up money for what they have done. But again the burden of prof is on them this is the way our courts are designed. I have no money so what can they get out of me even if they do sue? I would like to hear from anyone whom they have taken to court and made it to court and what actually happened if anything. Anyway I agree with the rest of the comments dont trust these people.

  9. In January 2012 I got a letter from Prenda asking fir 3400.00 to avoid a law suit for down loading a porno movie. Since I had never done anything like this I was confused. I called the number on the letter and the idiot who answered started in wiht “we know it was you, you can’t deny it”. After a few minutes of this abuse, I told the guy he was full of crap and hung up.

    Got a letter extending my opportunity to July 4. Did not respond and got a phone message telling me to call their office to discuss a settlement.

    Can’t figure what these jerks are up to. I am 74, in a wheelchair and live on SS. Where the hell would I ger money to pay something like this? I have no intention of talking to them again!

    I refuse to pay becaused I am not guilty. It is a worry to me to have these crooks demanding money. Should they win, I would be bankrupt.

    If they persist, I will contact the FBI and the state Attorney General.

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